Are you thinking about settling down in the United Kingdom and making a home? If you are, there are a few administrative hurdles you have to overcome before you can get comfortable.
One of the first things you may do when coming to the UK is try to find a job. Once you start earning money and become financially based in the UK you will need a National Insurance Number (NIN).
Before you get your National Insurance Number in the United Kingdom, it is important to know what it is all about. In this post we’ll be exploring a number of topics to do with getting a NIN, including:
- What is a National Insurance Number?
- Who has to pay National Insurance?
- Why is it important?
- How do you apply for a National Insurance Number?
- Transfer Money with Small World
What is a National Insurance Number?
A National Insurance Number is your own individual Personal Account Number. It is given distinctly to a person and it is retained by that person throughout his or her lifetime or residency in the United Kingdom. Your number will consist of two letters, six numbers and a final letter.
This number ensures that the contributions of National Insurance and the taxes that are paid by people are recorded properly against each person’s name.
The National Insurance Number also serves as reference information when you have to communicate with the Department of Work and Pensions and HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs). You will be able to start working without one but you will have to apply for a NIN immediately. The law demands that you are in the process of applying for a number or already have one in order to work.
Other organisations will also need to know your national insurance number, including:
- Your employer
- Your pension provider
- Your local council, if you claim Housing Benefits
- The Student Loan Company
- Your Individual Savings Account (ISA) provider
To learn more about the exact details of how the National Insurance Number works you should visit the official Gov.uk website.
Who has to pay National Insurance?
You have to pay National Insurance contributions when you are employed in the United Kingdom and you have to be above sixteen years of age. This is subject to your income and earnings being above a certain stipulated amount.
It applies to:
- An employee who is earning more than £162 a week.
- A self-employed person who is making a profit of more than £6,205 a year.
There are different classes of National Insurance Payments
- If you are employed you will pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions
- If you are self-employed you will pay Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance contributions
- There are also separate National Insurance rules for:
- Company directors
- Share fisherman
- Landlords running a property business
If you are an immigrant living in the UK you will most likely only have to deal with Class 1 National Insurance contributions. If you eventually set up a business or conduct any self-employed enterprises then you may also have to pay Class 2 and Class 4 National Insurance contributions.
According to the official Gov.uk website, from 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023 National Insurance contributions will increase by 1.25%. This will be spent on the NHS and social care in the UK.
Why is it important?
You have to make National Insurance contributions in order to qualify for fixed benefits and also to get your State Pension. You require a National Insurance Number before you begin to pay National Insurance contributions.
When you start earning between £116 and £162 every week, your contributions will be treated as a sum that is being paid to protect your individual records of National Insurance. This is principally to make sure that your National Insurance contributions and your taxes are being correctly recorded against your name and your account.
National insurance contributions are paid into a government fund from which state benefits such as a state pension, statutory sick pay, maternity leave and unemployment benefits are drawn.
Having a National Insurance Number will ensure that you are recognised as a financial individual and ensure that you are supported if you cannot work in the future. It is important on an individual but it is also important on a collective level, as it helps to support those who cannot work.
How do you apply for a National Insurance Number?
You can apply for your National Insurance either by phone or by visiting the official Gov.uk website and finding the National Insurance page and filling out a form online. The telephone number lines are 0800 141 2075 and the Text phone number is 0800 141 2438. You can apply from Monday to Friday between 8 am and 6 pm.
Concerning your interview, Jobcentre Plus will write to you and ask you to attend an interview. In this interview, you will be asked about your occupational circumstances and the reason for applying for a National Insurance Number.
What documents do you need for a NIN?
You will also be told about what documents you need to bring to the interview to have your identity verified. Depending on the answers you provide in your interview or in the online form you may also need to send other documents to the HMRC to confirm your identity.
These documents may include:
- Your passport
- An identity card for all residents in the United Kingdom
- A residence permit
- A birth or an adoption certificate
- A marriage or a civil partnership certificate
- A driving licence
- Medical Card
- Certificate of naturalisation
- Certificate of service in Her Majesty’s Forces or merchant navy
Once the interview is successfully completed, you will be told about how long it will take to get your National Insurance Number. You will generally receive your number anywhere from a couple of weeks to six weeks.
The number will resemble something such as “AB123456C”. Should you move residence or begin staying at a place other than which is listed on your passport identity document, you will have to keep the Department for Work and Pensions informed.
Transfer Money with Small World
Once you’ve got a job and a valid National Insurance Number you may want to transfer money back home to your loved ones. You can do so easily via Small World.
Small World is an international money transfer service that helps millions of people around the world transfer money overseas. There are a variety of ways to support your family and friends. Whether you prefer to send funds via bank deposit, cash pickup, home delivery, mobile wallet, mobile top-up or cash card reload, Small World has got you covered.
Your first transfer online is always free of fees!